Vice President for Academic Affairs

Posted 01/13/2023

Position Summary

John Brown University (JBU) seeks a vice president for academic affairs (VPAA) who will be an exceptional servant leader to advance the institution’s academic programs in fulfilling JBU’s Christian mission and vision. The VPAA will be responsible for the overall leadership of the faculty and academic administration, encouraging excellence in scholarship, teaching, advising, institutional service, Christian discipleship, curriculum and program development, institutional research, student academic success services, library services, external accreditation and all other programs or services related to the academic mission of the university. The VPAA is responsible for the academic programming and people in JBU’s traditional undergraduate, graduate, and online programs. The VPAA will serve on the President’s cabinet and report to the President.


John Brown University’s mission is to provide Christ-centered education that prepares people to honor God and serve others by developing their intellectual, spiritual, and professional lives. Founded in 1919, JBU is a Christ-centered, Biblically-faithful, interdenominational university that represents the best of Protestant evangelicalism in our commitment to the following theological principles: the fundamental human need for conversion and lifelong discipleship; the centrality of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection for the redemption of human beings; high regard for, and obedience to, the Bible as our authority; and active involvement in a local church, in missions and in ministries that work for Biblical justice and serve people in need. At JBU, we seek to integrate faith and learning, foster holistic Christian formation, promote pragmatic liberal arts education, and prepare people to follow Christ’s call to serve others in all areas of life. All employees must affirm JBU’s Employee Expectations and Articles of Faith.

With more than 2,200 students from 37 states and 48 countries, JBU offers approximately 50 undergraduate programs, seven fully online bachelor’s degrees and 16 graduate degrees in business, education, cybersecurity and counseling. JBU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and holds program-specific accreditations from various agencies. More information is available at

JBU has benefited from stable and excellent leadership throughout the organization. President Chip Pollard started in 2004 and has led the organization in consistently meeting enrollment goals, completing two capital campaigns and launching a third, completing two strategic plans and launching a third, 17 major building projects, encouraging efforts to recruit and retain diverse faculty, staff, and students, and navigating the educational and financial challenges of the pandemic successfully. He served on the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) board for thirteen years and as chair for five years. Most of the president’s cabinet has served for over 20 years, and all cabinet members have held volunteer leadership positions in the CCCU, ACSD, CIC, NACUBO, and other higher education associations. JBU’s board of trustees are people of deep Christian faith, generous spirit, and professional expertise, with an average length of service of 11 years. They are deeply committed to maintaining JBU’s mission to educate students to honor God and serve others.

JBU has experienced a season of God’s favor and blessing, for which we are grateful. In the last 20 years, JBU has received over $300 million in gifts and grants and has built or renovated over 90% of the university’s facilities. JBU has only about $4 million of debt on over $220 million of assets. During that same time, JBU’s endowment has grown from about $50 million to over $150 million, much of it dedicated to scholarships and academic programs and to support maintenance costs for new facilities. This financial strength has enabled JBU to retain excellent faculty and staff with consistent compensation increases and funds for faculty and staff development. JBU has not been immune to the economic and cultural challenges facing higher education, but it is positioned better than many institutions to respond.

JBU has received national recognition from many national newspapers and industry journals. For instance, in seven out of the last eight years, the Chronicle of Higher Education has named JBU on its “high honor roll” in its “Great Place to Work” survey. Two out of the last three years, The Wall Street Journal has named JBU the best public or private university in Arkansas. We are typically in the top 10% in our category (master’s level universities in the South) in U.S. News and World Report rankings.

JBU is located in Northwest Arkansas, a region predicted to have the third fastest job growth rate in the country behind only Austin, Texas and Charlotte, North Carolina. Three of the largest corporations in the world are located here—Walmart, Tyson Foods, and JB Hunt—and there is a growing technology, entrepreneurial, and art business ecosystem in the region. The quality of life is enhanced with a world-class art museum, Crystal Bridges, 25 miles from campus, over 400 miles of mountain biking trails, several state and national historic sites, parks, and large lakes, and a new $33 million whitewater rafting park just five miles south of campus. Siloam Springs has approximately 17,500 people with affordable housing and good private and public schools.

Position Responsibilities

  • Leads JBU’s academic community as a thought leader, skillful administrator, persuasive communicator, and faithful Christian
  • Chairs Deans Council, chairs faculty meetings in the absence of the president, participates as a member of search committees for all faculty and senior academic administrators, participates as a member of the president’s cabinet, and serves as cabinet representative to the academics committee of the board of trustees
  • Develops and manages all academic budgets to advance JBU’s mission
  • Creates an academic and professional culture that attracts, retains, develops, recognizes and promotes excellent and diverse Christ-centered faculty and academic administrators
  • Encourages, promotes and evaluates excellence in Christ-centered scholarship, teaching, advising, service, student care, administration, and Christian discipleship throughout JBU’s faculty and academic administration
  • Creates an entrepreneurial academic culture that evaluates, initiates, develops and implements new academic programs or revitalizes promising existing academic programs to meet the future needs of JBU students in fiscally responsible ways
  • Promotes development of programs that utilize a range of teaching modalities and technology platforms
  • Strategically evaluates and collaboratively eliminates unsuccessful academic programs when necessary
  • Visibly supports JBU’s academic programs by attending as many events as feasibly possible (e.g. public academic lectures, theatrical and musical performances, student research presentations)
  • Understands, respects, organizes, and collaboratively mediates appropriate faculty input to university governance and academic decisions
  • Establishes academic systems that align faculty, department and college interests with larger university goals
  • Leads and manages all institutional and secondary accreditation reviews
  • Effectively gathers and uses enrollment, institutional, higher educational and external data to make decisions
  • Works collaboratively with the co-curricular programs to enable students to flourish in all areas of their university experience –
  • Works in collaboration with the Office of Diversity in efforts to enable faculty, staff, and students with diverse backgrounds to flourish at JBU.
  • Participates in, encourages, supports, and advises JBU’s fundraising efforts in the academic area, particularly with respect to grant-writing
  • Participates in, encourages, supports and advises JBU’s enrollment efforts and student success efforts
  • Advises president and president’s cabinet on the academic direction of JBU and works collaboratively with all cabinet peers
  • Winsomely represents JBU and its academic programs to external audiences to develop partnerships, promote programs, and articulate JBU’s mission

Required Qualifications

  • Earned doctoral degree
  • Demonstrated experience in:
    • leading successfully in academic administration
    • teaching, service, student care, scholarship and Christian discipleship
    • recruiting, developing, mentoring, evaluating, and leading people to excel as Christ-centered scholars, teachers and administrators
    • understanding of academic budgeting
  • Committed to JBU’s Biblical ideal of diversity on campus
  • Advocate persuasively for the value of Christian higher education offered by JBU
  • Committed to following Jesus Christ in personal and professional life
  • Affirm JBU’s Articles of Faith and Employee Expectations wholeheartedly

Preferred Qualifications

  • Earned Ph.D. or equivalent research doctoral degree
  • Demonstrated experience in:
    • leading successfully in a higher education institution as a dean, vice president, or cabinet-level position
    • personally recruiting, retaining, developing, recognizing, and promoting excellent and diverse Christ-centered faculty and academic administrators, as well as creating an academic and professional culture that supports that work
    • managing complex budgets in an academic setting
    • initiating, evaluating, developing and, in some cases, eliminating academic programs in undergraduate, graduate or online context
    • establishing academic systems that align faculty, department and college interests with larger university goals
    • working with institutional or secondary accreditation bodies or other state or national regulatory agencies
    • encouraging excellence in teaching, service, student care, scholarship and Christian discipleship
    • working with the co-curricular programs to enable students to thrive in their overall wellbeing


A competitive salary will be commensurate with training and experience. In addition, JBU offers a comprehensive benefits package, including a 403(b) retirement plan, medical and dental insurance, tuition remission, leave related to the birth of a child, adoption leave, and moving expenses.

Important Dates

The position begins July 1, 2023. Applications are being accepted, and the screening process is anticipated to start on March 1, 2023, and continue until the position is filled.


JBU desires to increase the diversity of its faculty, staff, and students to honor how all humans are created in the image of God, to reflect better the diversity of the Kingdom of God, to further our Christian commitment to justice, and to increase the quality of our educational experience. JBU is pursuing the goal of teaching and working in a multicultural environment and strongly encourages applications from ethnic minorities and women. For more information, visit our diversity webpage

More information about JBU

A summary describing the university is available online.


Please upload the following documents to the "Upload Your Documents" page:

  1. Letter of Interest
  2. C.V.
  3. Faculty application (completed and signed)
  4. Statement about the applicant’s faith commitment and journey (500 words)
  5. Statement about the applicant’s experience and sense of calling to academic administration leadership at JBU (500 words)

The employee is expected to adhere to all University policies.

Contact Information:
Office of Human Resources
John Brown University
2000 West University Street
Siloam Springs, AR 72761
Phone: 479.524.7197